Twelfth Night -- Lamos Demonstrates His Sure Hand
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: Mark Lamos, artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse is putting his considerable Shakespeare directing skills on display with this glittering production of Twelfth Night or What You Will.
KAREN: That this production is so smooth is all the more remarkable in that just two days before we saw it, the actor playing Feste – the clown tore his Achilles tendon and many scenes had to be restaged to accommodate a wheel chair. Darius De Haas who plays the role makes the wheelchair he is in disappear – his interpretation of the role was worth Lamos’ restaging.
BOB: Twelfth Night is a traditional Mediterrean romance with mistaken identities, separate twins, and a young lady masquerading as young man. Additionally there is a Puritanical house steward, a drunken, brawling Uncle, and various conspirators. It is fast moving, and it all ends happily.
KAREN: To try to explain the plot in more detail would be confusing in our limited time, but you will be able to follow it easily - without Cliff notes.
BOB: David Adkins steals the show in the role of the house steward, Malvolio – a role that lends itself to that. He is by turns pedantic, hilarious and pathetic. Next in line is David Schramm as Sir Toby Belch, the drunken uncle of the Lady Olivia. I was not particularly fond of Jordon Coughtry as Sir Andrew Aguecheck, the dim-witted dupe of Sir Toby.
KAREN: I liked him - he had a sort of 20s musical comedy approach that made me laugh.
BOB: I do think that Lamos missed the boat in the relationship between the Duke Orsino, who is trying to woo Olivia and his supposedly male agent, who is really a young girl in disguise.
KAREN: I agree - the Duke should have been more confused by his attraction to the supposed boy. As it turns out - as Shakespeare said, all's well that ends well.
BOB: But I really liked the set very much – it was useful in displaying the multiple locations on the island.
KAREN: It had a certain whimsy that I liked it. Though I'm not sure why most of the cast was barefoot even in palaces.
BOB: This is a delightful production of Twelfth Night at Westport Country Playhouse. It runs through Nov 5.
KAREN: We know you will like it and it is a great opportunity to introduce young people to Shakespeare.
This review ran on WHNHU - 88.7 FM and www.wnhu.net through Nov. 4.